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10 posts from September 2010

Sep 29, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 16. Now You See It, Now You Don't

A few thoughts on the Celtic spirit, and on what, exactly, can be seen from Martello tower.

Sep 22, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 15. The Worst of Mulligan

The humiliations Stephen envisions take us from the halls of Oxford to the 13th Century invaders on Irish shores.

Sep 17, 2010

And The Winners Are...

This was a much more difficult judging task than I anticipated-because the entries kept, chronologically, getting better and better. Indeed, several entrants would have made the Top Ten had they not missed the midnight deadline - to them congratulations on fine efforts, some of their similes were truly stirring, and at the same time commiserations on not having got them in on time.

Here, in reverse order, are the 3 winners: Bravo, bravissimo to each of them, and great good wishes to all the rest of you who made this so damned interesting and such FUN!

Number 3 @ieatmypigeon
the remains of a black umbrella – twisted and bent, like a mangled bat wing.

Number 2 @drjosh81
K$sha's voice sounds like a brick in a blender.

And the WINNER is...

He gazed up at the pole dancer like a baby watching a ceiling fan.

I hope to welcome each of the winners to lunch one day in New York.Or, they can choose to receive one of the first Advanced Reader's Editions, signed, of my upcoming book "The Matchmaker of Kenmare."

Sep 16, 2010

Simile Twallenge Top Ten!

Well, now – we had a bunch of entries, more than double the number we had for our "best first sentence" Twallenge earlier this year and, so, choosing a shortlist of ten was like standing at a Ben and Jerry's display cabinet. Many were in, then out; many more were out, then in, then out again, a few of the top ten were in from the beginning, others yelled at me – and here they all are together and in no particular order: Your Top Ten Best Similes.

Much as I like having the iron fist of choice, I'd like you to put your tiny hand in mine and choose your favorites. Schmooze me, flatter me (worship and adoration works), try to sway me, see if you can influence my choice - you be the democrats trying to to persuade the autocrat: in short, pick your Top Three and we'll all have even more fun.

And thank you, each and every one, thank you so much for being such fun correspondents, for being so good-humored about it all, and for the delightful, willing spirit you showed. Watch this space for news of the winners…

Top Ten Best Similes.


@FictionWitch The post came through the letterbox like a gunshot.


@paulinembarclay The hour creaked by like the sound of an old rocking chair.


@BuggedProject The house was as sturdy as a good man's soul.


@rebeccablood He gazed up at the pole dancer like a baby watching a ceiling fan.


@drjosh81 My similes fit worse than underwear without a waistband.


@mustbehavingfun Heavy sunlight poured like thick oil through a crack in the clouds.


@drjosh81 Ke$ha's voice sounds like a brick in a blender.


@ieatmypigeon the remains of a black umbrella – twisted and bent, like a mangled bat wing.


@rebeccablood Her boasts were as implausible as her dandelion yellow hair; her self-doubt as dark as her roots.


@MrCCMiller She felt utterly superfluous, like the final "like" in, like, this simile.

Sep 15, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 14. What's in a Name?

We dig through some more insults, and ponder the names of characters who don't, in fact, appear in the novel.

Sep 08, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 13. Is it All Greek to You?

A single word produces lessons on the Greek language, politics, and cultural criticism.

Sep 03, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 12a. Baker's Dozen - James Joyce's Origins

Stepping away from the narrative for a moment, Frank gives us a look at Joyce's education, his family, and his conflicted relationship with the Catholic church.

Sep 01, 2010

Re: Joyce, Episode 12. The Schmoozing Buck

Stephen and Mulligan fence - or, alternately, joust.

Re: Joyce, Episode 11. A Cracked Looking Glass

The looking glass evokes both Shakespeare's Caliban and Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.

Re: Joyce, Episode 10. Is Stephen Insane?

As the insults mount, Stephen faces his own reflection.